By John Piper
Sorry, i need to disagree with at the very least a part of the idea of the e-book. whereas I agree that God can and does carry reliable out of bad...and I agree that the lives of Bunyan and Brainerd are amazing illustrations of that truth; William Cowper's scenario is especially troubling to me. The statement that his madness and his worry that he was once predestined for Hell was once by some means a blessing from God simply doesn't withstand the scriptures which kingdom: "God has no longer GIVEN us the spirit of worry, yet of strength, and of affection, and of a legitimate MIND." (2 Timothy 1:7) and "There isn't any worry in love, yet excellent love casts out worry; for worry has torment and he who fears has now not been made excellent in love." (I John 4:18) And definite, I detect that the Bible says that "the worry of the Lord is the start of data" (Proverbs 1:7), yet does not that seek advice from reverance, instead of the debilitating, suicide-inducing worry from which Cowper suffered? in case you have learn a number of the statements made by way of Cowper relating his OVERWHELMING worry and fervent trust that he used to be damned, a lot of which aren't integrated in Piper's ebook, you know the way heartbreaking they're. but we're to think that the "Prince of Peace" who promised his teenagers "peace that passes realizing" and admonished us to "let now not your middle be concerned" is the writer of this psychological torment and confusion?!
Additionally, if religion that the shed blood of Jesus has washed away one's sins is the root for salvation, and that religion is given via God to his "elect", then Cowper's strict Calvinist upbringing and trust method needs to certainly persuade him that he used to be now not one of the select considering the fact that he didn't have this insurance. What different end may well he succeed in?
Sorry, but when you're a constant Calvinist, you have to most likely finish that Cowper was once correct to worry reprobation.
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As in his prior books (Holy Blood, Holy Grail; The Jesus Papers), Baigent attempts to discover the darkish forceshiding within the shadows of faith and ferret out fundamentalists whose dogmatism frequently turns to violence. concentrating on the tip occasions, he warns that strong fundamentalist sects in Christianity, Judaism and Islam are operating to result in the conflict of Armageddon, while the forces of darkness may be destroyed through the Messiah, who will then result in a brand new reign. All 3 teams wish Jerusalem, the place every one lays declare to a actual spot, the Dome of the Rock, as a sacred position in its historical past; all 3 desire a kingdom within which politics are subservient to faith. Baigent makes a similar mistake that the fundamentalists make while studying the booklet of Revelation. it's not a ebook of prophecy and handbook for scary sinners again into the fold; it truly is apocalyptic literature that makes use of symbols as mystery codes for the scenario within the lives of first- and second-century Christians, supplying them desire for escaping from their plights. unfortunately, Baigent's well-intentioned exposé seems to be little greater than a screed opposed to fundamentalism that's in line with a misreading of his crucial textual content. (Sept. )
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Additional resources for The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd (The Swans Are Not Silent, 2)
P. 128. 58 Quoted in Brown, John Bunyan, p. 373. See the fuller original in The Acceptable Sacrifice: The Excellency of a Broken Heart, in The Works of John Bunyan, vol. 1, p. 720.
Though then I shall rest from my labors, and be in paradise, as through grace I comfortably believe, yet it is not there, but here, I must do you good. 49 In his autobiography, written about halfway through his 49 Christian Behavior Being the Fruits of True Christianity, in The Works of John Bunyan, vol. 2, p. 574. ”50 In fact, many of his flock joined him in jail, and he ministered to them there. ”51 He gloried in the privilege of the gospel ministry. This too flowed from his suffering. If all is well and this world is all that matters, a pastor may become jealous of prosperous people who spend their time in leisure.
69-70. 26 Grace Abounding, p. 59. ” Hebrews 13:8. Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed. I was loosed from my afflictions and irons. . 27 “I Think I Should Have Died with Gratitude and Joy” The solid foundation of The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England (framed in 1571) had been around for almost 150 years when William Cowper, the Anglican, experienced the power of its truth on justification. Article 11, “Of the Justification of Man,” says, We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by Faith, and not of our own works or deservings.
The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd (The Swans Are Not Silent, 2) by John Piper